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  • Updated:3 Aug 2006

04.Different types of hospital care

Be a public patient in a public hospital

Even if you have private insurance, you’re under no obligation to be a private patient in a public hospital. But you can revert to private any time you like.
As a public patient in a public hospital you get the following services free of charge:

  • Accommodation in the hospital.
  • Nursing care
  • The procedures and treatment you were admitted for, performed by the doctor allocated to you.
  • Medicines prescribed for you.
  • Diagnostic tests needed to support your treatment.
  • Treatment or services for your condition from hospital social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians and other hospital health workers.
  • Follow-up treatment as a hospital outpatient or in the community.

A private patient in a public hospital

  • If you choose to be a private patient in a public hospital, the same services are available but have to be paid for by you or your private health fund.
  • The only benefit is you can ask to see a medical specialist of your choice from among those appointed to the hospital. (Although even as a public patient you’re entitled to a second opinion free of charge.)
  • Being a private patient doesn’t mean you’ll get a private room, as these are given on the basis of clinical need in public hospitals. And it shouldn’t make any difference to the time you’ll wait for a service, or the quality of the service you’ll receive.

A private patient in a private hospital

  • The main advantage of going private is being able to reduce your waiting time for elective surgery by having it done at a private hospital.


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